But then, the Patriots pulled off an impressive win over the Buffalo Bills to give them their second win on the year.
And then, there was hope.
It's a long season, and the Patriots have plenty of time to turn things around. But, they need to act quickly. If Belichick wants to start stacking wins, he'll need some help. By next week's trade deadline, the Patriots could end up making some moves to make that happen. Here are a few targets New England should consider.
1. Jaylon Johnson, CB
Through Week 7, the Patriots' pass defense is actually pretty solid. They check in at no. 13 overall, allowing 210.6 yards per game. But, cornerback play has been spotty. The Patriots don't have a true shut-down corner on their roster and have been taken advantage of at times.
One guy who could be available is Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who is in the last year of his contract and is also playing excellent football this year. He was already one of the top-graded corners in the league by Pro Football Focus prior to this week, but Johnson had the best game of his season against the Raiders this last Sunday.
Johnson picked off two passes, returning one of them for a touchdown. He's allowing an opposing quarterback rating of just 28.4, which is by far a career-best for the 24-year-old. If the Bears really aren't going to offer him an extension and choose to part with him, the Patriots should be all over the opportunity.
Getting Johnson in the fold is what could help this defense get back into the top 10 overall, and help push the Patriots toward a second half resurgence.